Review: John Farnham at Kings Park, 4 February 2018
It was second time lucky when Australian music legend John Farnham performed to a capacity crowd at Kings Park on Sunday night. The original gig, before Christmas, was cancelled due to bad weather (in Perth? Who’d have thought?). But in true Farnsy style he was always going to make a comeback – and come back he did, bringing some well-known Aussie mates along for the ride.
Melbourne rockers The Badloves opened the show with their typically relaxed brand of easy-listening rock. ‘Green Limousine’ and ‘The Weight’ provided a chilled soundtrack to kick back to and enjoy the magnificent afternoon weather for the ‘take two’ concert.
Kate Ceberano burst onto the stage with that trademark sultry confidence we all know and love, and belted out a captivating set based on her own influences and idols as well as her own famous hits. But it was her tribute to Divinyls frontwoman Chrissy Amphlett that raised neck hairs and goose bumps.
Mondo Rock are a rarity these days and popped open a time capsule of 80s gold with their walk through the band’s greatest hits. No surprises here as they delivered much-loved tracks like ‘Chemistry’, ‘Summer of ‘81’, ‘Primitive Love Rights’ ending with ‘Come Said the Boy’. Quality musicianship and a great sound left Mondo fans thoroughly satisfied.
No one can last in the music business as long as John Farnham has without genuine talent. And judging by the way Kings Park was splitting at the seams, Farnham is very, very good at what he does. From the moment the piercing strobe lights silhouetted the Aussie icon on stage for the opener, ‘We Will Rock You’, Farnham worked the crowd like the stage veteran he is, delivering hit after hit.
‘Chain Reaction’ and ‘Age of Reason’ had the crowd singing, ‘Two Strong Hearts’ ignited choreographed dance moves from the hill, and a fun rendition of early classic ‘Sadie the Cleaning Lady’ was obligingly forced into the set.
‘Burn For You’ was a moving highlight with the anthemic ‘You’re the Voice’ – featuring a live bagpiper – finishing the set.
Although you might think his heartthrob days are behind him, throwing things at Farnsy is still a thing. T-shirts, towels, flowers and an ‘I Love You’ balloon were all hurled on stage and eagerly used as stage props to the delight of adoring fans.
An encore featured ‘A Touch of Paradise’ slipped into a rocking cover of the AC/DC classic ‘Long Way to the Top’, which, if anyone in this industry has the right to play, it’s this man.
Well played, John.